County Commission repeals ordinance

Marengo County commissioners repealed an ordinance based on the state Logging Notice Act after two speakers and a large contingent of supporters appeared at the meeting Wednesday.

The action came after Dan England, representing District 2, and Calvin Martin, District 4, were sworn into office by Probate Judge Cindy Neilson.

Joe Twardy, representing the Alabama Forestry Commission, told the County Commission that the state logging act passed this year was to curtail unidentified loggers who were responsible for damage to county roads. The act allows each county to pass its own ordinance, but Twardy said the Marengo County version “exceeds both the scope and authority of the act.”

The county passed its ordinance in October based on one prepared by the Alabama County Commission Association, which commissioners believed had been approved by the state Forestry Commission. Twardy told the group that the forestry association had no say in preparing the ordinance and asked for its repeal.

Commission chairman John Crawford Jr. said the commission is willing to work with the loggers and the Forestry Commission to implement an ordinance that benefits everyone.

“This is not adversarial,” county attorney Woody Dinning Jr. added.

The commission also voted to implement the Coast2Coast Discount Prescription Card Program presented by Ron Howard.

The cards, free to anyone in the county, can be used at almost every pharmacy. They are especially helpful to residents who do not have prescription drug coverage.

Jackie Holliday of the Marengo County Health Department announced the WIC Clinic located in the old municipal building in Demopolis will close at the end of the year.

When questioned by Commissioner Freddie Armstead, whose district includes much of Demopolis, Holliday said the cost of renting space from the city makes the clinic cost prohibitive even though many of the department’s clients are from Demopolis.

The commission voted to purchase the former Linden National Guard armory for $125,000. Plans are for the building to house the Marengo County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA) and the Auburn Extension office.

In other action the commission approved:

•A tax abatement for Champion Roping Supply, LLC, which will locate in the Linden Industrial Park.

•The Grand Jury report, with the recommendation that the state increase mileage for jurors from 5 cents per mile to 25 cents.

•The Alabama Department of Youth Services contract.

•County employee holidays. They are November 22 and 23 for Thanksgiving and December 24 and 25 for Christmas.

•The appointment of EMA Director Kevin McKinney as the county Safety Coordinator and the membership of the Safety Committee.

•A Tax Abatement for Denali Organic, LLC.

•The purchase of a vehicle for the solid waste department not to exceed $9,166.50.

•Making the two employees of the MCEDA now county employees.

•The reappointment of Fred Moore to the MCEDA.